Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford on Matchday 7, following an impressive Champions League performance away in RussiaBuild-up
United have flown out of the blocks this season, and are level with City atop the EPL. With an Aguero-less City facing a difficult trip away to Chelsea later on Saturday, the Red Devils know another win significantly increases the chances of going into the international break as sole league leaders. Standing in United’s way are Crystal Palace, who are bottom of the league – having lost all their games, and are without a league goal. The Eagles – thrashed 5-0 by City in their last fixture – are vying to become the first team to take any points from Old Trafford.
United are currently buzzing having just recorded their first away win in the Champions League for a number of years. But the victories are coming at a cost, as injuries are piling up, with a number of key players doubtful for the game. However, United should be confident against Palace, who also have injury concerns. New coach Roy Hodgson will be without Benteke, Tomkins, Zaha and Loftus-Cheek due to injuries, while United loanee Fosu-Mensah is ineligible against his parent club.
Pogba (hamstring), Rojo and Zlatan (both knee injuries) remain sidelined, and are joined by Carrick. Valencia, Jones and Fellaini missed the midweek game but remain in contention, and will be assessed ahead of the game. Also facing a late fitness check is Martial – who was in scintillating form in the Champions League. There are no suspensions.
United have available for selection: D.d.Gea, Romero, J.Pereira, Lindelof, Smalling, Bailly, Jones, Valencia, Shaw, Young, Blind, Darmian, Fellaini, Matic, Herrera, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford and Lukaku.
With the Red Devils facing a daunting trip to Anfield following the international break, Jose could give Jones (who has been our best defender) a breather, and pair Smalling with Bailly – also due a break. Valencia should continue at RB with Young on the opposite flank. The veteran has been impressive and with likely keep Shaw out. United also do not need to risk Fellaini, with Herrera and Matic impressive as a duo midweek. It would be cruel for Martial to sit this out (fitness aside), having shown good form against CSKA. On the opposite flank should be Rashford – also in excellent form – replacing Mata. Mkhitaryan’s creativity will be vital against Palace, who are very likely coming to Old Trafford to defend for their lives. The Armenian continues behind Lukaku, who goes into the game with a chance to equal (or indeed break) Andy Cole’s record of scoring seven goals in his first seven Premier League matches. There is no chance the Belgian sits this one out.
Kick off: 3.00pm, 30th September 2017
Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester
United’s impressive form against Palace’s woeful form suggests this should be a straight forward victory for Jose’s men. Especially with the Eagles having a dreadful record against United. Football doesn’t always pan out that way, and the Eagles could give United a fright. However United should win this eventually, 3-0. Goals to come from Lukaku, Rashford and Mkhitaryan.
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